Authentic Alaska art shows both incredible craftsmanship—and also a soul. This longtime gallery in downtown Anchorage has established a great reputation for providing a direct link between the Native Alaskan art community and art lovers who want to embrace both the beauty and traditions within a piece.
A Passion That Goes Back to an Alaska Childhood
Alaskan-born Diane Louise grew up loving authentic native art, and she got an early and wide-ranging exposure to it: her dad was a bush pilot dad who used to bring home little treasures from his visits to northern Native Villages. Today, three generations of her family run the store with her, and they have all inherited Diane's passion for authentic art, and a commitment to being a part of the community. Aurora Fine Art has been on the same corner—5th avenue and G St.—for 25 years now. Two other branch stores—the smaller ZoeZ Window Gallery and craft-and-goodie-stocked Alaska MAX Gourmet—are named after two of Diane’s grandkids.
At all of the stores, staffers pride themselves on knowing the artists that they work with, and always buying directly from the artist. That way, if you walk into the store and ask about a particular piece, a staffer can tell you who made it and about their story.
From Traditional to Contemporary
Maybe you’ll be drawn to a bear carved out of jade, walrus-ivory earrings, soapstone carvings or the caribou antlers stacked to look like a spruce tree. Alaskan art, however, doesn't just mean traditional native art, either. You’ll also find a wide selection of contemporary art, such as brightly colored oil paintings of Alaskan landscapes or striking works such as an oversized glass vase filled with equally oversized glass flowers.